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Use of tablet PC and smartphones in Christmas shopping surges

Half of devices owners now say they'll use their gadget to purchase presents

Half of smartphone and tablet PC owners plan to purchase Christmas gifts on their device this year, says Webroot.

Research of 1,215 Brits by the security firm revealed that's up from 22 percent in 2010. Furthermore, a third said they will book a holiday or some form of travel using their device, which was also just 22 percent last year.

However, despite this 53 percent of those surveyed admit they regularly leave their devices unlocked and just four in ten have a security app installed on their device that can block threats or remotely lock and locate a lost device. Webroot says these users are potentially exposing their personal information to prying eyes.

"People using mobile devices are exposed to a new set of online risks: cybercriminals seed mobile markets with malicious apps that can steal your personal data or send texts and SMS messages to premium numbers. And because of their size, smartphones and tablets are easier to lose or have stolen than laptops and notebooks, which puts the vast amounts of personal data stored on them at risk, said ," said Chad Bacher, vice president of Mobile Solutions at Webroot.

"Mobile security services are now a must - lost device protection, secure web browsing, and antimalware provide essential protection."

The security firm said men are savvier than women when it comes to securing their mobile devices, with 44 percent of males compared to 37 percent of females having some form of security service installed on their tablet PC or smartphone. Furthermore, 51 percent of men lock their devices compared to 43 percent of women and nearly six in ten (57 percent) of men say they restrict which sites they visit when using an unfamiliar internet connection compared to 48 percent of women.

Webroot also said those with devices running Google Android are more concerned about security that those with Apple iPads or iPhones, with 64 percent of Android and 52 percent of iOS users admitting to worrying about security.

Six in ten Android users ensure their security software is up-to-date compared to 47 percent of iOS while when it comes to mobile apps that store credit card information for shopping purposes, 43 percent of Android users avoid them compared to a third of iPhone and iPad users.

Webroots advised tablet PC and smartphone owners to only download apps from trusted sources, lock their devices and consider using mobile security apps.


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